Yesterday, my oldest daughter got a look on her face I know very well — the face when hormones attack.
It started with a misunderstanding on her part that it was Friday, when it was actually Thursday. She had been particularly happy it was Friday, because that was the last day before Christmas break. So I can understand her disappointment to discover, no, tomorrow is Friday and there is one more day of school before break.
This daughter is and always has been low key, quiet, and mild. So when I saw THAT look on her face, I do not even know how to describe it, besides “I am about to implode in rage and I may just take this whole place down with me!!!!” Kind of the look on Carrie’s face in the movie when the mean kids dump pigs blood on her. Yeah. Terrifying.
She was otherwise totally, eerily quiet. Then she said, “But my phone said it was Thursday yesterday.”
Trying to offset the darkness with light, I chirped in as cheery of a voice as I could manage, “Oh dear, I don’t know how that could be? Shoot. Let’s look…” and then I showed her on both my cell phone and computer, it was, sadly, indeed Thursday.
I could see her internal hormone cloud swirling and increasing in size by the minute. The eye of the storm was approaching fast. Gulp. She was NOT happy. She stared right at me, with that haunting look, as if to demand that I fix it and fix it now.
At this point I realized that the cart may be about to come flying off the wheels at any moment, remembering my own hormonal storms at her age. So I did what all good moms would do. I explained I needed five minutes alone, and I walked outside. Before whatever possessing my child made her head start spinning around and projectile green vomit to come directly my way.
I strolled around in the brisk air a bit, and then I see her, stomping with that same look on her face, across the yard toward me.
I reminded her I was taking five minutes, and really would be right back. I said, “I am feeling a bit overwhelmed for some reason at the moment, and I just need to get a grip on myself.” (Hoping she would think to herself, “Yeah, me too.”)
She stomped back to the house and I finished my five minute stroll.
When I came back in the house, I could tell the storm had passed, she had mentally moved on, and that disaster had been averted.
And to her credit she never did “lose it” despite my knowing she absolutely wanted to (and I know, because I have been there my hormonal self.)
I started making dinner, asking for her to help me and otherwise keeping busy. As we were almost done cooking, I said to her, “I think what just happened was hormones. Did you feel that intense feeling?” She agreed, and then I continued, “But I am so proud of you for not losing it. Lots of girls do, and can cause a lot of unnecessary drama. Sometimes you will feel like this, and when it happens, remember it is hormones and what you are feeling is turned up by 10 because of that.”
She totally got it. Whew.
Of course we will see month after month to come, but the younger women can be taught to recognize a hormonal storm and how to contain the disaster, and control their emotions in general, the better.
Or maybe I really should consider building a tower where she can be for the next few years. I can see now why such stories exist!